A Look at Exchange Server 2013 Resource Mailboxes

Resource mailboxes have been around for a few versions of Exchange Server, and Exchange Server 2013 brings us a few improvements in how they are managed.

There are two types of resource mailboxes:

  • Room mailboxes are for fixed locations such as meeting rooms or conference facilities
  • Equipment mailboxes are for items that are not fixed to a location, such as laptops or vehicles

Exchange 2013 puts resource mailboxes under their own section of the Exchange Administration Center. Both room and equipment mailboxes are managed in this same section.

One of the immediate improvements is that you are able to set the booking policy or assign delegates during the creation of the resource mailbox, rather than as a secondary task after the mailbox is created.

After the mailbox has been created there are a few additional properties you can customize. The booking options can be further tuned with regards to recurring meetings, booking horizon, and custom replies.

You can also easily configure a MailTip for the resource mailbox.

The text that you place in the MailTip will appear automatically when people add the room or resource mailbox to a meeting request in Outlook. Although in my opinion the MailTip needs some color to draw the person’s attention to it.

Finally, an interesting default setting is the disabling of email address policies. This does make sense as most resource mailboxes are for internal use only, so having email address policies assigning multiple SMTP addresses to resource mailboxes is usually not necessary.

Overall it appears that room and resource mailboxes are a feature that has matured over the previous versions of Exchange Server and now receive just a few minor improvements to make them simpler to manage.

About Paul Cunningham

Paul is a Microsoft Exchange Server MVP and publisher of Exchange Server Pro. He also holds several Microsoft certifications including for Exchange Server 2007, 2010 and 2013. Connect with Paul on Twitter and Google+.


  1. David Smith says:

    Good article, I am impressed with the progress that Microsoft are making with Room and Resource mailboxes. Coming from a company that used an expensive third party room booking solution, that they hardly use 60% of its full feature set, I can really see that this would potentially be viewed as a possible replacement. The only issue I forsee is that the orgs users use a wide variety of Outlook clients so possibly could be a problem? Or would they have to use OWA?

    Agree with the point about a bit of colour required on the Mail Tip. An org’s users would need something to catch their eye.

    • Say what you will, but Lotus Notes and Domino has had these features for years. It’s a far more manageable and cost effective resource management system, even if the mail template has less user options then Outlook.

      • Room and Resource mailboxes have existed in Exchange for years as well. This is just a look at how 2013 does it.

      • Mike Richter says:

        Have been managing Lotus and Domino for 10+ years, and Rooms and resources feature in domino is terrible.. We have 1000′s of rooms that we manage and its the most difficult thing to maintain. Exchange does it a lot better, each room is its own mailbox and managed properly..

  2. Have there been any improvements in the following two shortcomings of booking meetings with Exchange:
    - Meetings set as Free to a resource allow double-bookings (could be avoided if there was a way to set a rule to deny these meeting requests).
    - If the resource is unavailable, the appointment on the client can still be sent to all the recipients. Ideally this would be stopped before it gets sent altogether, like Direct Booking in Exchange 2003.

  3. Is there any option in exchange to make this possible?

    It concerns the via Outlook directly reserve a meeting room, coffee, beamer etc. in such a way that looks or the space actually available and then is secured. The person who reserves also gets a message. Also ushers in a certain way to see what is going on in the Chamber is needed resources.

  4. I notice there is an option for “Custom” rooms in the Room List. Is this configurable client-side? If so I’m not finding how to. This would be a great feature so I can create my own room lists if they have not been set up on the server.

  5. Hi

    how am i Show Full Free/Busy Details for Exchange Server 2013
    Room and Resource Mailboxes ?

  6. HI Paul
    I am migrating from 2007 and have just introduced 2013.
    I can view mailboxes, groups and contacts but when I try and view one of the resources I see the error:
    Cannot open mailbox /o=Company/ou=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=2007MBXServer/cn=Microsoft System Attendant.
    Presumably resources are particular and require migration to 2013 before they can be viewed?

    • Depends what you mean when you say you can “view mailboxes, groups and contacts”. View them where/how?

      • Sorry, in the EAC
        I can view their properties in the 2013 EAC (mailboxes not yet migrated, DL’s also not upgraded)
        I receive the error when I try to read the properties of the resource mailboxes in the 2013 EAC

        • During co-existence you should manage an object with the matching version of the management tools. Eg a 2007 mailbox should be administered with the 2007 EMC.

          The exception of course is when you do the mailbox move, that is done with the 2013 tools in your case.

  7. Thanks Paul, and that is very true. I have noticed strange output in the 2013 shell viewing 2007

    FYI after migrating a room I could modify the object but was still experiencing the error
    I noticed that Booking delegates lists “Use customized setting to accept or decline booking requests”
    After I changed the option to: Accept or decline booking requests automatically, the “Use customized…” option disappeared and so did the error

  8. What’s up, I wish for to subscribe for this webpage to take
    hottest updates, so where can i do it please help.

  9. nodorina says:


    Does Shared mailbox still exist in Exchange 2013?

    If we migrate ‘shared’ mailbox type from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013, will it stay as ‘shared’ mailbox?


  10. Tim O'Connor says:

    Hi Paul,

    I’ve just completed a migration from Exchange 2003, through Exchange 2010, to Exchange 2013. I noticed just today that mailboxes that had been resources in Ex2003 are now allowing double-booking. In Exchange Administration Center some show up in the Mailboxes section and others in the Shared section – none in the Resources section.
    Using the shell I tried to change some to resources (Set-Mailbox MarketingDept1 -Type Room). Shell now tells me that they are indeed rooms (Get-Mailbox -Identity MarketingDept1 | Format-List RecipientTypeDetails) but they haven’t moved in Administration Center and when I edit them I don’t see the booking options, etc.
    How should I be converting these old Ex2003 resources to Ex2013 resources?

    Thanks, Tim

  11. We’re having a strange issue with our resources. We finished our migration from exchange 2007 to exchange 2013. We do not use public folders so we did not do anything with migrating public folders.

    We stopped all services on the exchange 2007 servers because migration was done. As soon as we did this conference room resources no longer worked (error: can directly book this room). Once we mounted the 2007 public folder database the resources worked correctly.

    What did we miss? Any help is appreciated. Does 2013 resources still use the public folder system folder?

  12. Phil Ready says:

    Hi Paul
    Great article (like all of yours), keep it up.

    I have a question on allowing conflicts for recurring meetings.
    If I AllowConflicts $True, single and recurring meetings are double booked. I thought Double booking are never allowed, no matter what the setting and that these settings just apply to recurring meetings, by deciding how many conflicts there are before rejecting the lot.
    My present settings are:
    AllowRecurringMeetings $True
    AllowConflicts $False
    ConflictPercentageAllowed 20
    MaximumConflictInstances 0

    If there is 1 conflict, all meetings are declined.
    Is there another setting I need somewhere?

    • MaximumConflictInstances 0 means no conflicts are allowed for new recurring meetings.

      AllowConflicts $True means the other conflict settings (percentage and max instances) are ignored. So this would override the setting above.

      If you want to allow *some* conflicts set AllowConflicts to $false and use the ConflictPercentageAllowed and MaximumConflictInstances values to control how much conflict you’re willing to allow.

      • Thanks Paul. I have applied those settings and that seems to work.
        I was put crook by this article http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2011/02/07/3411956.aspx
        It gives a clear indication of how it works, but as we have found out, is inaccurate.
        Do you know if that article was about how Microsoft wanted it to work and the present situation is a fall-back from problems implementing it?

        • Which part is wrong? That is the article I was double checking when I made my earlier comment, and it seems to have worked for you.

        • Phil Ready says:

          Hi Paul. The article states that conflicts will always be declined and that AllowConflicts:$True will bi-pass the Max conflicts and %.
          Whereas I have found AllowConflicts:$True allows conflicts outright and all bookings are accepted and double bookings result.
          Plus When AllowConflicts:$False, ConflictPercentageAllowed 20 and MaximumConflictInstances 0, any conflict with recurring meeting will result in a total decline. It works if I set MaximumConflictInstances 3 (or anything other than 0)
          This concurs with you reply on July 1, but is contrary to the TechNet article text and flowchart.

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